Simon's Section

There is nothing on a dog theme that I can add to this site so I thought Id just list some of the quirky characteristics about Sweden that will always remind me that Im not in England anymore.  Im not talking xenophobically of things like the language, omni-present taxation and the abundance of blondes that clearly separate these two fine countries but the little things that make life interesting.  If there are any other Brits that have been lured to Sweden for whatever reason, or swedes living in England who will have found the same sort of things in reverse, I would welcome suggestions to extend the list. Mail me!

simon.raymond@telia.com

  1. In Sweden, the pepper is in the single-holed pot and the salt in the multi-holed one; the other way around to England and the reason I often have pepper on chips!

  2. Black coffee in Sweden only means coffee without milk and without sugar.  You cant say black coffee with sugar.

  3. The only place you can buy alcoholic beverages over 3.5% abv, other than pubs/restaurants, is in government run shops called "Systembolaget".  This is supposedly a way of controlling the nation's consumption.  Like, yeah.  The control is affected by the short opening times (10:00 to 18:00 on weekdays and not at all at weekends).  There are some Systembolagets in the south open on Saturdays but only in the places where it is cheaper to hop over to Denmark anyway!?

  4. Upon the dawning of realisation, english people "put two and two together".  In Sweden, they "put one and one together".

  5. Telling the time in Sweden can lead to confusion between nations.  When a swede says "half-eight", it should mean "half-seven" to an englishman and vice-versa

  6. Shopping in the supermarket in England is often a race with the check-out assistant to have the groceries packed away before she announces the total.  This is not bothered with in Sweden where it is customary to wait until everything has been rung through the till before packing commences.

  7. The unit of measurement for ten kilometres is "mil" (mile).  Need I say more??

  8. Light switches in England tend to be at shoulder height and switch on downwards.  In Sweden, they are more likely at waist height and switch on upwards.

  9. Water pipes on buildings in Sweden are buried deep in the walls to prevent freezing.  In England, they are obviously on the outside of buildings so that they are easier to repair when they do freeze!

  10. The english separate thousands (in figures) with commas and the decimal with a point.  It's the other way around in Sweden.

  11. The bookmakers can't lose in Sweden as the odds are calculated after all bets have been placed and equate the total stake to the eventual pay-out plus some for the bookies to keep.  In England, you can beat the bookie as the odds are set before the betting.  Sure, they can change right up to the race/match but at least you keep the odds you bet at.

  12. When a swede has finished a meal, the knife and fork are laid at the "twenty past four" position on the plate.  When a meal in England is finshed, the knife and fork are laid at "half past six".  Is this something to do with the different time zones?!

  13. Paper hole punches in England produce two holes in the margin. In Sweden they use two pairs of two holes, neither of which are at the same pitch as the english system.

  14. External doors in Sweden open outwards (so that snowdrifts don't come inside I guess).  This is confusing for an englishman more used to doors that open inwards. 

  15. To avoid queues and queuejumping in Sweden, many busy shops (off-license, baker's, bank, post office chemist etc) operate a ticket system where you collect a numbered ticket upon entering the place and hang around until your number is called.  In general, the british prefer to queue and frown at people pushing in.